January 6th Committee Hearing #8

The January 6 Committee held its eighth public hearing on Thursday, July 21, 2022.

The Select Committee examined President Trump’s actions during the Capitol attack and the 187 minutes from the time when President Trump ended his speech until the moment when he finally told the mob to go home.

Hearing witnesses:

  • Matthew Pottinger, Former Deputy National Security Advisor to the President
  • Sarah Matthews, Former Deputy Press Secretary and Special Assistant to the President

 

 

Opening remarks by committee chair, Congressman Bennie G. Thompson:

“Over the last month and a half, the Select Committee has told the story of a President who did everything in his power to overturn an election.

“He lied. He bullied. He betrayed his oath. He tried to destroy our democratic institutions.

“He summoned a mob to Washington. Afterward, on January 6th, when he knew that the assembled mob was heavily armed and angry, he commanded the mob to go to the Capitol.

“And he emphatically commanded the heavily armed mob ‘TO FIGHT LIKE HELL.’

“For the weeks between the November election and January 6th, Donald Trump was a force to be reckoned with. He shrugged off the factually and legally correct sober advice of his knowledgeable and sensible advisors.

“Instead, he recklessly blazed a path of lawlessness and corruption; the costs of which democracy be damned!

“And then he stopped.

“For 187 minutes on January 6th, this man of unbridled, destructive energy could not be moved—not by his aides, not by his allies, not by the violent chants of rioters or the desperate pleas of those facing down the riot.

“And more tellingly, Donald Trump ignored and disregarded the desperate pleas of his own family, including Ivanka and Don Jr.

“Even though he was the only person in the world who could call off the mob he sent to the Capitol, he could not be moved to rise from his dining room table and walk the few steps down the White House hallway into the Press Briefing Room.

“Where cameras were anxiously and desperately waiting to carry his message to the armed and violent mob savagely beating and killing law enforcement officers, revenging the Capitol, and hunting down the Vice President and various members of Congress.

“He could not be moved.

“This evening, my colleagues Mr. Kinzinger of Illinois and Ms. Luria of Virginia will take you inside the White House during those 187 minutes.

“We also remind you of what was happening at the Capitol, minute by minute, as the final, violent, tragic part of Donald Trump’s scheme to cling to power unraveled while he ignored his advisors, stood by, and watched it unfold on television.

“Let me offer a final thought about the Select Committee’s work so far.

“As we’ve made clear throughout these hearings, our investigation goes forward.

“We continue to receive new information every day. We continue to hear from witnesses.

“We will reconvene in September to continue laying out our findings to the American people.

“But as that work goes forward, a number of facts are clear.

“There can be no doubt that there was a coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn an election overseen and directed by Donald Trump.

“There can be no doubt that he commanded a mob—a mob he knew was heavy-armed, violent, and angry—to march on the Capitol to try to stop the peaceful transfer of power.

“And he made targets out of his own Vice President, and the lawmakers gathered to do the people’s work.

“These facts have gone undisputed.

“And so, there needs to be accountability. Accountability under the law. Accountability to the American people.

“Accountability at every level: from the local precincts in many states where Donald Trump and his allies attacked election workers for just doing their jobs.

“All the way up to the Oval Office where Donald Trump embraced the illegal advice of insurrectionists that a federal court judge has said was ‘a coup in search of a legal theory.’

“Our democracy withstood the attack of January 6th.

“If there is no accountability for January 6th—for every part of this scheme—I fear that we will not overcome the ongoing threat to our democracy.

“There must be stiff consequences for those responsible.

Follow the progress of the committee at january6th.house.gov.

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